NFL Detroit Lions

2014 NFL Draft: Detroit Lions’ Early Seven-Round Mock

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Detroit Lions' Seven-Round Mock

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While the 7-5 Detroit Lions currently hold the crown in the NFC North, it’s never too early to start looking towards the offseason and the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. There are numerous areas they must improve in, and there won’t be a better opportunity to get better than the draft.

Of those areas needing improvement, one of the biggest concerns is cornerback. Even with Chris Houston, Bill Bentley and Darius Slay in the fold, the Lions have been unable to keep opposing passing games at bay. They’re currently fielding one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, which is why a serious upgrade – or two – at cornerback is a definite necessity this upcoming offseason.

Despite their issues at cornerback, the Lions still have other questions in need of answers. They have yet to find a reliable No. 2 wide receiver to compliment Calvin Johnson, which they must do before the 2014 campaign. Outside linebacker could also use an upgrade despite the step up in production from the position. Even the offensive line could afford some extra talent – especially if the Lions’ starting right tackle leaves via free agency.

Either way, the Lions need to make the most of their draft picks in May. The 2014 NFL Draft will offer Detroit an opportunity to upgrade their roster while addressing the problems that have cropped up during the season.

With that in mind, here’s a look at what the Lions could choose to do with their seven current draft picks when the 2014 NFL Draft finally rolls around.

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1st Round: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

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Clearly the cornerbacks the Lions currently have on their roster aren’t cutting it. Houston is inconsistent, while Bentley and Slay have been serious liabilities throughout the 2013 campaign. If they’re going to stay competitive moving forward, they need another legitimate cornerback. Verrett is a talented prospect with the physical tools to excel in the NFL. As long as he can stay healthy, the coverage skills and instincts are there for Verrett to develop into a No. 1 cornerback for the Lions.

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2nd Round: Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama

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With DeAndre Levy locking down the weak-side linebacker spot this season, the Lions could be looking to upgrade on the strong side. Ashlee Palmer is a serviceable starter, but doesn’t play with the tenacity Detroit is known for. Hubbard is a tough, physical linebacker who flies around the field making plays. Although he doesn’t do a great job in coverage, he’s a decent pass rusher and excels at stopping the run. With some refining of his game, Hubbard could become a starter in no time.

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3rd Round: Mike Davis, WR, Texas

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One way or another, the Lions need to find a capable No. 2 receiver to complement Johnson. Nate Burleson is solid, but inconsistent. Ryan Broyles is explosive, but constantly injured. Kris Durham is set to be a free agent, and is limited physically anyways. Adding a player like Davis to the mix would help the Lions find some stability on offense. He’s a big-play receiver who can stretch the field and make defenders miss in the open field. Davis has the talent to develop into a quality No. 2 in Detroit.

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4th Round: Jack Mewhort, OT, Ohio State

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Jason Fox is headed for free agency this offseason, which will leave the Lions with a glaring hole at right tackle. Unless they plan on leaving Matt Stafford to be eaten alive, they need to find a capable replacement. Mewhort is a bruising tackle who excels at opening holes in the run game. He played left tackle for the Buckeyes, but seems to be a better fit for the right tackle spot in the NFL. His pass protection needs some work, but Mewhort is well-rounded enough to start immediately.

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6th Round: Jeremy Gallon, WR, Michigan

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Just one new wide receiver might not cut it for the Lions, who are lacking as much in terms of depth as they are in terms of starting-caliber talent. That’s why they go for an electric youngster here in Gallon. While the Michigan product will largely be overlooked due to his lack of size (5’8’’, 189 pounds), there’s no denying that he can be a sparkplug. When he finds some space, Gallon brings an explosive element to the offense that the Lions could easily take advantage of.

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7th Round: Antwan Lowery, G, Rutgers

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While the Lions have enjoyed the emergence of rookie Larry Warford, the play of left guard Rob Sims has been underwhelming. They might as well add a promising prospect to the mix in hopes of pushing Sims for the starting job. Lowery isn’t exactly a dominant blocker, but what he lacks in physicality and aggressiveness, he makes up for with technique and smarts. He’s a sound blocker who plays with control and intelligence, and should be a solid asset for the Lions.

Gil Alcaraz IV is the Content Planner for Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.